New Administrative Units: Burden on State exchequer
M. Ishaq Begh
Recently after meeting out the people of Jammu and Kashmir, cabinet sub committee completed the lengthy process of preparing a list of new administrative units. But while giving it a final stroke the coalition partners disbelieved each other. They speculated that this innovation may benefit the other partner and even faced a verbal brawl. This suspense carved out various hardships for them and got solved only under the guidance of their Delhi based bosses. The tussle continued and even pressed the state chief minister for a quick resignation if the report was not produced before him in fixed time. So after facing hard times over the creation of new administrative units, both the parties of coalition, National Conference and Congress agreed for this long pending creation. Leaving behind all the critical differences on 01-02-2014 State Cabinet approved a proposal for the creation of 659 new administrative units across Jammu and Kashmir. Prior to this govt announced a committee headed by Mushtaq Ganai for the same cause but unfortunately the recommendations made were left unheard. This, very committee took almost two years while coming out with the final recommendations. It put forth a proposal which highlighted the creation of 220 administrative units as well as 700 patwar circles across the state. He even alleged that he prepared the list without favoring any particular area. Now the creation of 659 units, after consulting people within less time and giving it a final touch raised several questions among the general public of state.
People started debating the step taken by the govt in every nook and corner of the state. Some think that it is a political stunt and a well set game played by the coalition partners. Is it a vote bank politics? And some are raising the queries that why the govt neglected Ganai report which was totally apolitical? Their arguments can not be sidelined at the moment because they say that the job which took almost two years for Mushtaq Ganai in its completion has been concluded in some weeks by the cabinet sub committee. Is this a full time rehearsal or an alleged election gimmickry for 2014 parliament and assembly elections? The job completed by CSC has been seen as a doubted one by others as no criteria adopted, has been made public yet. It is being circulated across the state that both Bloria Committee as well as Ganai Report was based upon the ground realties and non discrimination but CSC made unnecessary changes and created new tribulations. Recently state govt announced that Jammu and Kashmir is passing through an unavoidable financial crunch but forgot it soon when it started to work upon this new creation. State employees are protesting openly on the roads for the release of their salary and other pendingS arrears. State has been left out in starving conditions as it is thirsty for about 750 crores. The begging nature of our ruling class is in continuous process as the creation of assets and state revenue seems to be no mans job. Now, for some moments let us forget about the past and think about future, this creation of administrative units will create new problems for our state because it has to manage about 1510 crore rupees. Which include 1254.71crores for capital investment, required for the basic infra structure and 255.51 crores as state revenue expenditure? Would it be called as an extra burden over the already cash starving state or a finest step taken towards secure administration? No doubt the step taken will generate employment for our unemployed youth but may also bring misery to the state inhabitants. As per the surveys made, the creations of new administrative units will generate 358 gazetted and 8046 non gazetted positions in the state which include 46 gazetted and 874 non gazetted positions for new sub divisions across the state, 135 gazetted and 3288 non gazetted positions for tehsils and 358 gazetted with 3884 non gazetted positions for CD Blocks. Prosperity and employment are the welcoming aspects of every society but these aspects should not make life a problematic one. Zero asset creation can not help a least developing state to meet out the existing as well as new challenges. Why to make good a loss when your income is negligible, such points always stuck to the minds of common man. By creating least wealth and more expenses will surely invite misery as well as financial instability in the state. Rulers clearly knew it, that in 2006-07 state revenue expenditure was about 10614 crores of rupees and in 2010-11 it crossed all the limits and reached up to 22880 crores. During these five years the state expenditures increased by about 113% (as per the published reports). Now when new elements got entry in revenue sucking category then it is obvious that such things may push this state towards the list of least achievers and beggar states. The whole drama needs a full study by the govt and a progress report must be made public, so that all above raised queries may get a satisfying answer otherwise it would be “ Amdani athani Kharcha Rupia”.
The above mentioned facts must act as an eye opener for those who prefer Jammu and Kashmir’s collective prosperity, as it is the time for assets creation and not for the extra fatigue and limitless burden. Unprofitable segments of our state are at the edge of cessation and are demanding a sympathetic review. It is clear that a fit car can not travel even a smaller distance with a defunct tyre, it needs all wheels up to date and a great care. Same is the case with our lame economy; it can not reach the desired goals with less care of its whole segments. Administration must be tight and people friendly as the people relied their hopes upon it. They should not feel any sort of insecurity while attaining their jobs done as per the justice, but govt should also think for the better future of Jammu and Kashmir. New units will add ecstasy to the depressed people only when this state will acquire the desired economic prosperity and estimated affluence.